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Care Sheets - Rabbit Care Sheet - Fur N Feathers - (Powered by CubeCart)

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Rabbit Care Sheet

Rabbit Care Sheet

Product Information


 
RABBITS
(Oryctolagus cuniculus)                                                         

Rabbits are mammals belonging to the family 'Lagomorphs' from the Greek "Hare Like".  They have been popular with man for many hundreds of years, initially as a food source and latterly as a pet and companion.
Rabbits can be housed outside or indoor as 'house rabbits'.  
Rabbits housed outside must be protected from extremes in temperature and inclement weather - they can't run off from a storm if they're in a hutch!! 
Ideally an outside rabbit would be housed in a wooden hutch high enough for it to stretch upwards and long enough to run and turn in both directions.  It should have an enclosed sleep area and a wire mesh fronted area.  
A run for the garden would be a great advantage to allow the rabbit to have as much exercise and movement as possible.  Many hutches now have built on runs as part of them.  They will also choose a corner for their toilet and a litter tray put in this corner can be changed daily keeping your cleaning time down.
Indoor rabbits make super pets and end up tame like dogs.  They can be toilet trained keeping mess to a minimum and will purr around your legs almost like a cat when you come in, showing how pleased they are to see you.If you are having a house rabbit you can buy an indoor litter tray.  Your rabbit will choose a corner of its hutch to do the toilet and once this is established place your litter tray in the same corner with a light covering of sawdust and your rabbit will use the tray.  The tray can then be cleaned daily cutting your cleaning well down.  The tray can also be lifted out the hutch when your  rabbit is out and it will use its toilet as it needs.
Rabbits gnaw and indoor rabbits especially must be protected from gnawing electric cables or phone wires etc.  
Whether kept indoors or out the hutch must be cleaned out completely at least once a week with the use of a good disinfectant to minimise any infections.
Rabbits are social animals and ideally should not be kept singly.  The best two pet rabbits to keep are a neutered male and neutered female. That way they have the companionship without the problem of unwanted litters every 28 days !
The other benefit of this pairing is neutered males tend not to develop aggressive territorial habits and neutered females are less likely to develop uterine tumours caused by never having been mated - remember they are creatures designed to reproduce constantly and either be pregnant or nursing.
Once you decide you want a rabbit - they can live 5 - 8 years or more - you will want to choose a young rabbit of the breed of your choice -or maybe a mixed variety (like a mongrel dog) that appeals to you.  When buying your rabbit make sure it has nice clear bright eyes; is bouncing about with energy and its tummy feels nice and full and round without any tightness that might show a digestive problem.  Once you have picked your rabbit - or your rabbit has picked you which is usually the case - you will want to take it home and get it
settled into its new home straight away.  Remember rabbits are easily stressed and you do not want to be picking it up and putting it down every 5 minutes but better to let it become familiar with you and the family and ALWAYS be gentle and quiet with it.
Hopefully your young rabbit will be used to being
handled and you will be shown how to correctly lift your rabbit before you take it home.  This is a very important part of keeping a rabbit .We always show our new owners the correct way to handle the rabbit so it does not feel insecure and struggle with you which could injure it.  A rabbit should be lifted by the scruff at the back of its neck and
supported at the bottom with your other hand.  The scruff of the neck is the bit designed to be used by mother rabbits and it does not feel sore or uncomfortable.  Remember a rabbit is not a person and its body design is different from yours !!! 
If you don't want to scruff the rabbit you must lift it by the shoulders and support the bottom.  Once the rabbit is used to being lifted properly there will never come a time where it starts to bite you when you try to get him out his cage........this usually happens when the rabbit is handled badly and is afraid of being lifted...... it will try and bite you to stop you lifting it !!  NEVER NEVER NEVER lift a rabbit by the ears....their ears are extremely sensitive and can be badly damaged by rough handling.
Rabbits have a very particular digestive system which is designed to cope with a high fibre and low protein and carbohydrate diet.  In the wild the rabbit will spend most of its day eating grass to get the goodness is needs.  This also means that the largest part of their day is spent munching which also keeps their teeth from growing too long - remember their teeth grow continually throughout their life.
Pet rabbits need the same looking after which means they should not be given too much of the commercially prepared rabbit food as they will get too fat and their teeth will grow too long causing lots of problems.  Ideally they should be given a small handful of rabbit food daily and a large amount of good quality hay which they can bed on as well as eat.  This helps keep their teeth down and gives them the higher fibre diet their system has evolved to require.  They will also eat carrots, cabbage and other vegetables which can be hung to the roof of their cage so they have to use a bit more energy to reach it giving them some exercise that pet rabbits often don't get.  Don’t give your baby rabbit greens for a couple of months incase it upsets their delicate tummies.
Every day you must also give them fresh water.

Rabbits are coprophagic which means they produce soft mucous type pellets in the mornings which they eat before passing the typical harder pellets later in the day.  This way the rabbits gets the most goodness it can from its food as it effectively eats it twice.  You will usually not see your rabbit doing this but if you do its perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.
Rabbits are super pets as they are gentle by nature and once are established with you become very tame. 
They are fairly healthy animals that don’t need routine veterinary care.  You can have them vaccinated against two diseases they can pick up if your rabbit is going to be around areas where other animals can be.   The advice of your vet should be taken on this point.

Fur’n’Feathers can give you an lot of advice so please do not hesitate to contact us where we will do our best to help you.
Above all enjoy your rabbit.

 

 

 

 

Fur’n’Feathers Pet Shop
277 Kilmarnock Road
Shawlands, Glasgow G43 1TX
                       Tel/Fax:  0141 237 9913 
Info@furnfeathers.co.uk        www.furnfeathers.co.uk  
 


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